Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The new and "improved" standard

Hi Everyone!
If you saw the title and thought you must read this article, you likely already read Mark Rosewaters article on the new release cycle. The short version of that is, 2 set blocks and no core set and 18 month rotations for standard instead of 2 year rotations.

I thought to myself that this means that every 4 months, standard is going to rotate....but what does that mean, it means people will have to buy more cards. Seriously, think about it. Shorter rotation means that casual players who play Friday Night Magic will have a deck that will be good for about a year assuming it uses cards from the old block and the new block and the core set (we're assuming they made the deck right when the first set of a new block came out). The new format, making the same timing assumption, their deck only works for 18 months.

I hate to sound cynical to some readers, but seriously Wizards real purpose is to make more money. Mark Rosewater even said it would be "more work" for R&D that would be met by "additional staff". Sorry to burst everyone's bubble, but companies don't hire new staff because their employees are "working too hard", they hire new employees because they will create more revenue than they cost. I thought that part of the article was Rosewater trying to glaze over the fact that it's all about money, not "creativity" or whatever other crap they are selling as the reason (to be fair, I have said many times that Wizards is run by [people not well educated in the way of business] when it comes to business and it's possible that they are really doing this because "they care". But don't take that one to Vegas).

I'll do my best not to rant about Wizards anymore in this article because I know I have been doing a considerable amount of that lately.

I do however agree that the third set of blocks are usually the worst. Look at Saviors of Kamigawa, Maze's end, Fifth Dawn. I'm not saying they didn't have any good cards, I'm saying that these sets were bad for standard that they didn't add much to Standard (except SOK, worst set since Homelands and it still holds that title today).

What's the good side of all this? It's a big one, all the investors (or traders if you want to nitpick terms) in MTG and MTGO are going to have the opportunity to make even more money. Yay!!

Magic card prices are largely influenced by standard rotation, that's the best way to predict when cards will be high and low, not individual cards, that's a different kind of investing (that you should stay away from). When the sets rotate the prices change.

Here's how you make more money, new blocks will rotate every 6 months. It used to be every year. That's twice as many cycles of price fluctuations. I don't know what you plan to do, but I'm going to make some money on the new standard.

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